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Joydip Kanjilal

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

The Visual Studio 2010 Code Editor

April 15, 2010

Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 mark the next generation of developer tools from Microsoft. As such, the tools provide you with a single integrated development environment for prototyping, designing, modeling, and testing tools that you can use to build applications. The Visual Studio 2010 Code Editor comes with some new exiting features that promote developer productivity to a great extent.

These features include:

  • Zoom in or Zoom out code
  • Quick Search
  • Generate from Usage feature
  • NavigateTo option
  • Call Hierarchy of Methods
  • Built-in jQuery Intellisense
  • Reference Highlighting

Zoom in or Zoom Out Code

Visual Studio 2010 provides improved support for code editing, searching symbols, and navigation. You can now use Visual Studio 2010 IDE to zoom in or zoom out any portion of your application's code for better visibility. To use this feature, you just need to hold the CTRL key and then move the scroll wheel of the mouse.

Quick Search

Quick Search is a new feature in Visual Studio 2010 that can be used to search for specific textual strings across symbols (methods, properties, and class names). This is a nice new search feature that promotes ease-of-use of the code editor.

Generate from Usage

In Visual Studio 2010, you have a new feature called "Generate from Usage". This lets you use classes and members even before you define them. You can use this new feature to generate a stub for any class, method, property, field, or enum that you want to use. Note that you need not even define them before you use.

Navigate To Option

You can invoke the Navigate To option by pressing the Control and comma keys together. This is a smart, incremental search feature that lets you search symbols that match search criteria in situations when you are not exactly sure what you need to search for.

Call Hierarchy of Methods

The Call Hierarchy of Methods feature displays the flow of method calls in your code to help you analyze how calls to a particular method have been propagated. You can invoke the Call Hierarchy feature using the control and "K" keys together or the control and "T" keys together. This is a great new feature that helps you to analyze the code path in your application's code.

Built-in jQuery Intellisense

jQuery is an open source, cross-browser, lightweight JavaScript library. Visual Studio 2010 IDE provides support for jQuery intellisense. This is now an inbuilt feature unlike in Visual Studio 2008 where you had to manually add the jQuery library files to use Intellisense.

Reference Highlighting

Reference Highlighting is a nice new feature in Visual Studio 2010 IDE. It lets you highlight all references to a particular symbol as and when you place the blinking caret on a particular symbol. And, you can just use the control, shift and "up" arrow keys or the Ctrl, Shift, and "down" arrow keys to move to the previous or next symbols, respectively.

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